The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. Only two countries have yet to ratify the landmark treaty – South Sudan and the United States.
By signing the Convention, the United States has signalled its intention to ratify—but has yet to do so. As in many other nations, the United States undertakes an extensive examination and scrutiny of treaties before proceeding to ratify. This examination, which includes an evaluation of the degree of compliance with existing law and practice in the country at state and federal levels, can take several years—or even longer if the treaty is portrayed as being controversial or if the process is politicized. Moreover, the US Government typically will consider only one human rights treaty at a time. Currently, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women is cited as the nation’s top priority among human rights treaties. In January 2015, Somalia became the most recent country to invest in the wellbeing of its children by ratifying the CRC.